In Septemberthree history textbooks were approved by the Education Ministry, all of which whitewash Stalin's crimes and his nonaggression pact with Hitler. Credit: Wikimedia Commons For a time, the pact worked well — and showed how similar the two states really were.
At the signing, Ribbentrop and Stalin enjoyed warm conversations, exchanged toasts and further addressed the prior hostilities between the countries in the s. Finally, the proposal contained a secret protocol specifying the spheres of influence in Eastern Europe both parties would accept after Hitler conquered Poland.
The classic hammer and sickle was propped up next to the swastika of the Nazi flag which were used previously in a local film studio for Soviet propaganda films.
Terms of the pact included the provision that if Germany attacked Polandthe Soviet Union would not come to its aid. The Soviets soon afterward sought to consolidate their sphere of influence as a defensive barrier to renewed German aggression in the east.
The Soviet minister is also the namesake for the incendiary device known as a Molotov cocktail. Harper of the University of Chicago had stated publicly his belief that "the Russo-German non-aggression pact conceals an agreement whereby Russia and Germany may have planned spheres of influence for Eastern Europe.
For Stalin, it allowed a breathing space in which to build up armed forces that had been severely damaged by the purges of the previous years, as his botched invasion of Finland showed.
An economic agreement, signed on August 19,provided that Germany would exchange manufactured goods for Soviet raw materials. Accordingly, the Soviet Union attacked Finland on November 30 and forced it in March to yield the Isthmus of Karelia and make other concessions.
Hans Baur's guide informed him: "Another car would tack itself onto us and follow us fifty or so yards in the rear, and wherever we went and whatever we did, the secret police would be on our heels.